Friday, April 12, 2013

The Electoral Commission on electronic voting

I've long been an opponent of electronic voting, based on the experience in the US where it simply cannot be trusted. And it seems the Electoral Commission share some of my concerns:

The Electoral Commission has warned those calling for an electronic voting system that there is, as yet, none which could completely guarantee the security of ballot papers in the way that the paper-only system does.


The law required the Electoral Commission to deliver all ballot papers to Parliament's clerk where they were stored for six months before they had to be destroyed.

The law would have to change to allow that information to be stored electronically "and why would you want electronic records of how people voted when our whole concept of democracy is based on the idea of a secret ballot"?

Its a good point. It just can't be done - you can't have ballot secrecy with electronic authorisation. Even if you think you can, it comes up against the fact that anything electronic is hackable (and if it is hackable, it will be hacked). And no, its not just something we can trust the government on (or even trust that they will keep it secure). If we want the secret ballot (and the protection it gives us from both government and employer intimidation), we need to stick with paper.